1 a feathered vertebrate with a beak, with two wings and two feet, egg-laying and usu. able to fly.
2 a game-bird.
3 Brit. sl. a young woman.
4 colloq. a person (a wily old bird).
5 sl. a a prison. b rhymingsl. a prison sentence (short for birdlime = time).
Phrases and idioms:
bird-bath a basin in a garden etc. with water for birds to bathe in. bird-call
1 a bird's natural call.
2 an instrument imitating this. bird cherry a wild cherry Prunus padus. bird-fancier a person who knows about, collects, breeds, or deals in, birds. a bird in the hand something secured or certain. the bird is (or has) flown the prisoner, quarry, etc., has escaped. bird- (or birds'-) nesting hunting for birds' nests, usu. to get eggs. bird of paradise any bird of the family Paradiseidae found chiefly in New Guinea, the males having very beautiful brilliantly coloured plumage.
bird of passage
1 a migrant.
2 any transient visitor. bird of prey see PREY. bird sanctuary an area where birds are protected and encouraged to breed. the birds and the bees euphem. sexual activity and reproduction. bird's-eye
1 any of several plants having small bright round flowers, such as the germander speedwell.
2 a pattern with many small spots.
—adj. of or having small bright round flowers (bird's-eye primrose). bird's-eye view a general view from above. bird's-foot (pl. bird's-foots) any plant like the foot of a bird, esp. of the genus Lotus, having claw-shaped pods. bird's nest soup soup made (esp. in Chinese cookery) from the dried gelatinous coating of the nests of swifts and other birds. birds of a feather people of like character. bird-strike a collision between a bird and an aircraft. bird table a raised platform on which food for birds is placed. bird-watcher a person who observes birds in their natural surroundings. bird-watching this occupation. for (or strictly for) the birds colloq. trivial, uninteresting. get the bird sl.
1 be dismissed.
2 be hissed at or booed. like a bird without difficulty or hesitation. a little bird an unnamed informant.
Etymology: OE brid, of unkn. orig.
Useful english dictionary. 2012.